The event will be held at 7pm on Thursday 22 February at the WIN Entertainment Centre in Wollongong.
The diocesan organising committee – which includes clergy, staff and lay people – has been busily planning the event since Pope Francis announced Fr Brian as the Bishop-elect on 30 November 2017. Under Canon Law, a new bishop is required to be ordained within three months of the announcement.
The ordination is expected to be celebrated by up to 30 Australian bishops, 100 clergy, parishioners and families from all the diocesan parishes and schools, staff and families from all diocesan agencies and affiliated organisations, leaders of other churches and faiths, civic leaders of government and business, and last but definitely not least, busloads of Brian’s family, friends, parishioners and community members from the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle – where he currently lives.
Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP (Archbishop of Sydney) will be principal consecrator, with this co-consecrators being Bishop Peter Ingham (Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Wollongong) and Bishop William Wright (Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle)
It will be the first ordination of a bishop in the Diocese of Wollongong in 22 years.
When asked about how the WIN Entertainment Centre will look on the evening, former general manager of the centre, Mr Stuart Barnes said:
“The huge number of expected attendees means that it cannot be held at St Francis Xavier Cathedral in Wollongong, which can only seat 550 people. So, if we can’t take the people to the Cathedral, we are going to take the Cathedral to the people! The stained glass windows and two large icons that form the backdrop of the Cathedral will be recreated as giant banners at the WIN Entertainment Centre.
“The music is also expected to be spectacular on the night. Our diocesan band will be accompanied by the St Mary Star of the Sea College orchestra and a 50-strong diocesan choir. It’s definitely going to be a night to remember.”
The ordination is a free event and everyone is warmly invited to attend.
The Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle will be holding a farewell celebration for much-loved Fr Brian, who until his appointment as Bishop Elect was Vicar General. The farewell will be held at 4:30pm on Sunday 18 February.
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